Brand new PDL!

Come share your backwater or even blue water success and help others learn more about fishing from a 'yak.
JBcrankaddict
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Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Mon Mar 06, 2017 2:28 am

My new PDL arrived at the shop the other day, and was able to pick it up Friday and fish it all weekend. I was looking for something I could use in the salt to extend my range for fishing tournaments since I don't use my bass boat for inshore fishing. I've been fishing out of a little Pelican 116Dlx that is 11 years old, and it gets me around fine, but it's time for an upgrade. This thing is perfect! Super fast, and very easy to peddle once it gets broken in a little. Super stable, super comfortable, sooo much storage and ease of use is incredible. I was able to do some sight fishing on Saturday and found some slot reds tailing in some shallow grass. I was able to stand and pole around quietly to find the fish, and set up to make a cast. It's really almost impossible to flip, as I was able to comfortably stand with both feet on one side and barely started to lean. Cruising speed(where I am using zero energy) was 3.5mph and was able to get up to around 5.5 peddling hard. This kayak is amazing and will take the inshore fishing to another level around here! Any questions about the kayak(since it's so new)I'd be glad to answer. Sorry for the big pictures, not sure how to resize.
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reason162
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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby reason162 » Mon Mar 13, 2017 10:00 am

I just put two and two together and recognized you from your youtube videos. Congrats on the new yak! Looking forward to seeing new footage...I love my i-series Hobie, but that PDL looks like the ideal flats yak to me!

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby Dalleinf » Mon Mar 13, 2017 8:39 pm

It looks amazing - and even for sale in southern Denmark (ie Germany).
A lot of questions come to mind since I had not seen that kayak before. Is it more less the same as the non-pedal version? Easy to paddle also if one should wish to do so?
Cheers from across the pond

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby Brad in Texas » Wed Mar 15, 2017 3:08 am

One thing is for sure, the Predators have paid real attention to looks, the lines of the kayak.

I was told the other day that the company that makes Predators is part of a larger company that also owns Minn Kota. It was his contention that some of the early-on issues many pedal drives have to work through, that this drive if it used the Minn Kota engineers, is likely very well made. Makes perfect sense to me.

Tony on Venture Tube on YouTube reviewed it about 3 weeks ago, gave it very high marks. He's a Hobie PA14 owner but I wonder if he'll get the bug for a drive with a true fluid reverse pedal system.

Hobie has a super drive, no doubt, but the shifting required for its new drive with reverse isn't quite up to par. Why? Because, when we fish in a pedaler like a Propel or this new Predator, as we try to "stick" water and hold a position while we fish, we actually make a series of little back and forth adjusting pedals . . . it looks like someone pedaling a unicycle trying to stay in one spot.

A tip later for you to try out!

Brad

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:50 am

reason162 wrote:I just put two and two together and recognized you from your youtube videos. Congrats on the new yak! Looking forward to seeing new footage...I love my i-series Hobie, but that PDL looks like the ideal flats yak to me!

Thank you! This will help me take the videos to another level. The storage is huge so I can take a lot more gear. It's been awesome out on the shallow flats, and a PowerPole will help a lot with drifting around out there. It doesn't go as shallow as a Hobie, but when it's that shallow I just stand up and pole.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Thu Mar 16, 2017 5:55 am

Dalleinf wrote:It looks amazing - and even for sale in southern Denmark (ie Germany).
A lot of questions come to mind since I had not seen that kayak before. Is it more less the same as the non-pedal version? Easy to paddle also if one should wish to do so?
Cheers from across the pond

That's very cool that they are available already in multiple countries! It is very similar to the other Predator models, but the hull was redesigned for the higher seat to make peddling easier. I haven't paddled much, but I did have to make it out of a shallow area into the wind and it paddled very well. I've heard from others(can't be sure though) that it paddles almost as easily as the other Predators. It's definitely possible.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Thu Mar 16, 2017 6:02 am

Brad, those are some great points to be made!

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Thu Mar 16, 2017 2:09 pm

Brad in Texas wrote:One thing is for sure, the Predators have paid real attention to looks, the lines of the kayak.

I was told the other day that the company that makes Predators is part of a larger company that also owns Minn Kota. It was his contention that some of the early-on issues many pedal drives have to work through, that this drive if it used the Minn Kota engineers, is likely very well made. Makes perfect sense to me.

Tony on Venture Tube on YouTube reviewed it about 3 weeks ago, gave it very high marks. He's a Hobie PA14 owner but I wonder if he'll get the bug for a drive with a true fluid reverse pedal system.

Hobie has a super drive, no doubt, but the shifting required for its new drive with reverse isn't quite up to par. Why? Because, when we fish in a pedaler like a Propel or this new Predator, as we try to "stick" water and hold a position while we fish, we actually make a series of little back and forth adjusting pedals . . . it looks like someone pedaling a unicycle trying to stay in one spot.

A tip later for you to try out!

Brad

The design is very well thought out and the lines grab your attention, but they are also functional. It handled some pretty good chop in the bay, and that bow was cutting right through it with ease. Those high lines also help keep you dry, I had no water over the side. A buddy was out there with me in his Outback and he speared a couple waves.

The drive system is very well built and seems like it will hold up well, but that's yet to be seen. It's supposedly sealed and also floats, which is very nice for beach launches and returns. I know of several Mirage owners who didn't strap it down coming in and lost it, and they are not cheap! It feels like peddling a bicycle in low gear when underway, and if you can get in rhythm it takes no effort to peddle. The twist clamps that lock the drive in place are also sacrificial in case it happened to run into something solid. They really have thought of most everything with this kayak. Old Town is part of Johnson Outdoors, which includes Minn Kota and Hummingbird.

The Mirage drive is definitely an awesome drive system, it's so easy to use and has the advantage of going extra shallow. Not having reverse is what kept me away though. Reverse has already been a huge benefit several times. I was sight fishing dock lights one night, and would set up on each one 20' off the corner. When a redfish would eat, I would quickly sit down, peddle in reverse and pull the fish away from the dock. I also fished some really windy areas, and did exactly what you are talking about. Holding position around a dock was very easy, and I was able to pick it apart with as many casts as were needed. It is so useful to have it whenever needed, totally hands free. The Hobie system works fine, but it's not hands free at all. After fishing out of a paddle kayak for a while, having reverse was definitely high on the list.

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CALL ME RIFLE
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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby CALL ME RIFLE » Fri Mar 17, 2017 6:48 am

Awesome review, thanks...been thinking about buying a pedal drive, I think you may have turned me towards PDL instead of the Native I've been thinking about...I like the Johnson products anyway, Old town and Ocean Kayak are both exceptional brands, and among few that offer lifetime hull warranty- unlike the lackluster 2 year warranty on the Hobie...
.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby Brad in Texas » Sat Mar 18, 2017 10:04 am

The fishing tip I referred to earlier?

In a pedaler, you can "troll" the bottom.

Normally, when one throws many finesse applications, let's say a T-Rig or a weightless worm, what you do is make a cast to your target, then let it sink. Often times, a fish will hit it on the drop. If one doesn't, we normally let it "soak" for a minute or so, maybe wiggle it, then we lift our rod tip and glide it back toward us, see if it gets attention as it is moved, soak it again, the do this a few times until we go ahead and reel in and re-cast.

But, in reverse, say you are fishing along the rip rap in front of a long dam using a worm on the bottom. What you can do is follow the standard procedures . . . except instead of reeling in the line as you hop or pull your worm back, you lift your rod tip (as usual) but instead of reeling in the line slack, you back your kayak away while dropping your rod tip back down.

The line never gets reeled in.

Using the method, the time your worm is left in the water, the amount of real estate it covers . . . is greatly enhanced.

I have used it to back all the way along a dam at the depth I thought the fish were holding.

You know the old adage about the young grandson asking his granddad how was it he caught more fish. The granddad said, "Because I leave my bait in the water longer than you."

It follows this logic pretty well.

Brad

P.S. With space or, say, deep water you can cut your rudder tight and do the same thing by leaving your "bottom troll" in the water and reverse around and cover water in concentric circles. br

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:14 am

CALL ME RIFLE wrote:Awesome review, thanks...been thinking about buying a pedal drive, I think you may have turned me towards PDL instead of the Native I've been thinking about...I like the Johnson products anyway, Old town and Ocean Kayak are both exceptional brands, and among few that offer lifetime hull warranty- unlike the lackluster 2 year warranty on the Hobie...

That warranty is a huge plus! Johnson makes some great products, and they seam to stand behind them. The Natives are nice kayaks, I have a few friends that are on their team/staff and have the Slayer Propels, and they get along just fine. I hear the rudder is a negative on the Natives, and the drive needs quite a bit of maintanence. But overall, very nice kayaks. The PDL stability is incredible, I can't say enough about it. Fished in some ugly conditions this past weekend, 15-20mph winds creating some chop, and lots of boats running the ICW creating big wakes. Never once felt unstable, and seems like it could take on more.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:19 am

Brad in Texas wrote:The fishing tip I referred to earlier?

In a pedaler, you can "troll" the bottom.

Normally, when one throws many finesse applications, let's say a T-Rig or a weightless worm, what you do is make a cast to your target, then let it sink. Often times, a fish will hit it on the drop. If one doesn't, we normally let it "soak" for a minute or so, maybe wiggle it, then we lift our rod tip and glide it back toward us, see if it gets attention as it is moved, soak it again, the do this a few times until we go ahead and reel in and re-cast.

But, in reverse, say you are fishing along the rip rap in front of a long dam using a worm on the bottom. What you can do is follow the standard procedures . . . except instead of reeling in the line as you hop or pull your worm back, you lift your rod tip (as usual) but instead of reeling in the line slack, you back your kayak away while dropping your rod tip back down.

The line never gets reeled in.

Using the method, the time your worm is left in the water, the amount of real estate it covers . . . is greatly enhanced.

I have used it to back all the way along a dam at the depth I thought the fish were holding.

You know the old adage about the young grandson asking his granddad how was it he caught more fish. The granddad said, "Because I leave my bait in the water longer than you."

It follows this logic pretty well.

Brad

P.S. With space or, say, deep water you can cut your rudder tight and do the same thing by leaving your "bottom troll" in the water and reverse around and cover water in concentric circles. br

That is some great advice on ways to maximize your time spent with lure in the water! Seems perfect for doing just like you said, working down a dam. We don't have many areas to make that happen, but I can think of a few where I'm gonna try it. I can say in small creeks, its very nice having instant, hands free reverse. There have been many times already I would have to get the paddle out and make a bunch of noise without reverse.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:48 am

I wanted to get some time on the water and post a few negatives if I could find any. There are a couple I'll try to explain.

The prop is just plastic, so it will break if you are rough on your gear. I ended up snapping a blade off on some rock, but surprisingly the kayak was even faster and easier to peddle with 1 blade! Props are very cheap though($2+shipping) so I ordered 5 to keep around. Been using with 1 blade for a couple weeks and it's working fine. A little less efficient going from forward to reverse, but that's about all I see.

Hull slap seems kind of loud, but don't have anything to compare it to. It's only bad when on the move, since you are basically plowing through the waves at times since the propulsion is so efficient. Once a fishfinder is installed and a battery is placed in the front hatch, it may help keep the bow in the water more reducing the noise some. I can say my catches haven't suffered because of this at all.

Those are really the only 2 negatives I can think of. One other positive thing I've found is the use of the peddle drive as a hand controlled trolling motor of sorts while you stand. It's much easier to bend over and move the drive by hand a couple turns to reposition while drifting, than it would be to sit down and stand back up all day to move small distances to reposition. Fished 4 miles of outside grass line yesterday, it this setup made it soooo easy to stay on the edge.

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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby JBcrankaddict » Mon Apr 10, 2017 6:54 am

Here's a few more pics of some of the fish I've been catching out of it. From bass in tiny creeks, to bull redfish on the edges of flats in 6-8', it does it all! Almost time to go offshore real soon!

3 1/2lb bass caught from a tiny creek on a spinnerbait
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14lb redfish caught on a chatterbait, with the 843 NRX. Bass hit a chatterbait hard when ripped from grass, but you better be hanging on when a redfish crushes it!
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Same redfish
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Giant speckled trout caught on the Bonnie, with the K2 683ml
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6lb hybrid caught on a line thru Rhythm Wave using the 842 NRX
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20lb+ redfish, sight fished in 6-8' with a Xrap 08. 842 NRX put him in the boat!
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Re: Brand new PDL!

Postby Brad in Texas » Mon Apr 10, 2017 10:27 am

That is really odd that the prop broke and you have found no difference, even a possible increase, in speed afterward. I can't imagine what is at work behind that unless it somehow positively affects cavitation issues. It just goes to show how limited kayaks are by hull speed I would guess.

Still, at $2 a prop, you did the right thing by ordering a bit of inventory.

That hull slap could be owing to the unique shape of the bow on the Predator PDL . . . rather sharp in a shapely way and transforming not so far back into those two pontoon-like sides. It seems like the water could slap up against that area before the pontoons flare out. I think you are correct: a bit of weight in the bow hatch would likely make it less of an issue.

Good review!

Brad


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